Banners of Craft Lodges in Hertfordshire (Continued)
Charles Edward Keyser Lodge No: 2518
The inception of the lodge, sponsored by Bushey Hall Lodge No. 2323, was due mainly to three Hertfordshire Masons, whose unselfish aim was to work for the benefit of the younger founders of the lodge and not seek personal advancement. They persuaded a very prominent mason, Charles Edward Keyser, later Provincial Grand Master of Hertfordshire, (1924-1931) to become the founding master and for the lodge to bear his name. A rare coincidence was that he was then also in the Chair of Lodge of Antiquity No. 2 and was, therefore, Master of the youngest as well as the most ancient Lodge on the register of Grand Lodge.
The Lodge banner was presented by W.Bro Keyser and was unfurled by the RW PGM at the consecration meeting held on 5th July 1894. At the time W.Bro Keyser expressed the hope that the banner would never be absent from meetings of Provincial Grand Lodge and that the Brethren would attend regularly and keep up the prestige of the lodge. Apart from the usual masonic symbols the banner bears the coat of arms described in heraldic terms as follows: “Argent on a mount vert, a palm tree of the last, thereon pendant a shield azure charged with three mullets of the first pierced of the third, on a chief of the last a sun proper between two rings or, each adorned with a diamond proper.” The Crest is described as “An arm couped and erect habited azure, cuffed argent, in the hand proper an escarbuncle or”.
The motto is “Providenta Tutamur” – “We are protected by Providence”. The arms were first granted in 1771 to Solomon Norden, and it is suspected that this has some connection with the Keyser family and whilst no direct link can be found it is known that the Norden family is linked by marriage in or around the turn of the 18th century. The original banner which was used for over a hundred years now shows considerable signs of wear and tear and in 1985 a decision was made to have a new banner made. W.Bro Hewlett commissioned Mrs Margaret Agar of Essex to make the banner and set about raising the necessary funds. The new banner is an exact copy of the original including the presentation scroll. The money was raised through various donations and fund-raising events and the hand-embroidered banner completed in time for the centenary celebrations and dedication on 5th July 1994. The original banner is now stored at Fleet House.